The present-day U.S. military qualifies by any measure as highly professional, much more so than its Cold War predecessor. Yet the purpose of today’s professionals is not to preserve peace but to fight unending wars in distant places. Intoxicated by a post-Cold War belief in its own omnipotence, the United States allowed itself to be drawn into a long series of armed conflicts, almost all of them yielding unintended consequences and imposing greater than anticipated costs. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. forces have destroyed many targets and killed many people. Only rarely, however, have they succeeded in accomplishing their assigned political purposes. . . . [F]rom our present vantage point, it becomes apparent that the “Revolution of ‘89” did not initiate a new era of history. At most, the events of that year fostered various unhelpful illusions that impeded our capacity to recognize and respond to the forces of change that actually matter.

Andrew Bacevich

Monday, December 31, 2012

War News for Monday, December 31, 2012

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED blast in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, December 29th.

Afghan Camps Receive Winter Aid, but Officials Say It Isn’t Enough

Reported security incidents
#1: At least one person was killed when 11 oil trucks supplying fuel for the NATO-led coalition forces caught fire following a blast in eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar on Sunday evening. "Initially, an oil tanker caught fire after an explosion by a sticky bomb but later it engulfed 10 more trucks in the incident which took place at about 6 p.m. local time in Behsud district," Mohammad Zahir police chief of the district told Xinhua. One driver who was wounded in the incident later died of his wounds in a hospital in the incident, he said.

#2: Pakistani troops killed eight militants during an operation in Khyber Agency while the bodies of nine Taliban fighters were found dumped in another part of the lawless tribal belt, officials said today. Security officials said a clash erupted this morning when troops attacked a militant hideout in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency near the border with Afghanistan.

#3: Thirteen armed opponents have been arrested in various parts of the country, the defence and interior ministries said Sunday. The security forces arrested two armed opponents, including a facilitator of Maulvi Haqqani network, in Logar's capital Pul-i-Alam, a defence ministry press release available with the AIP stated. Four armed opponents were held in Spin Boldak district of Wardak province while the security forces seized a weapons cache, including 600 kilograms of explosives, three IEDs and other war gadgets in Grishk district. The press release said an Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier was killed and two more were injured in attack and bomb blast of the enemy in Laghman and Nangarhar provinces.

#4: Afghan police have eliminated 10 armed Taliban militants during operations across the country over the past 24 hours, Interior Ministry said in a statement on Monday. In the operations carried out in Kunar, Baghlan, Kandahar, Wardak, Logar and Ghazni provinces, nine more militants were captured. However, it did not say if there were any casualties on police.